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Eighth Annual Live Out Loud Community Conference to be Held at BCC
08:07AM / Thursday, March 31, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass — The Live Out Loud Community Conference will have its eighth annual event at Berkshire Community College (BCC) on Saturday, April 2 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Connector on the Main Campus.    This event is free to the public, although registrations are preferred. Attendees can register at www.liveoutloudberkshires.org.   The Live Out Loud Community Conference is Berkshire County's annual community conference to strengthen the community's understanding and advocacy of the LGBTQIA+ population. Beginning in 2014, the Live Out Loud Conference is designed to build community in Rural Berkshire County.   This year's event will

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Support Staff Demand Raises at Pittsfield School Budget Hearing
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:35AM / Thursday, March 31, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Public Schools budget hearing Wednesday was short but had a clear message: support staff want an increase in pay.    The proposed fiscal 2023 budget of $72,398,262 is a 7.56 percent, or $5,086,562, increase from this year. Most of the increase is in contractual obligations.   "The Pittsfield Federation of School Employees are the support staff of the Pittsfield Public Schools, we are the bus drivers and monitors, the cafeteria workers, the custodians, the paraprofessionals, and the educational secretaries that do the hard work behind the scenes to make our school run," Pittsfield High School employee Marcus DuRant said to the

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BCC Faculty Advocate for Paused Respiratory Care Program
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:53AM / Thursday, March 31, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some Berkshire Community College faculty are asking the board of trustees to take a deep breath before shutting down its respiratory care program.    BCC hasn't made a determination on the accredited program, but it is on pause and under review.    Two faculty members in the program, Margaret Goss, director of clinical education, and Thomas Carey, a professor of allied health, advocated to keep the program at Tuesday's trustees meeting and highlighted its importance in producing local respiratory therapists.    They fear that if the program were to be discontinued, the area would face a shortage of health-care

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BCC Professor Wins Open Education Resources Award
08:04AM / Wednesday, March 30, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) congratulated Professor of Life Sciences Fayette Reynolds for winning second place in the Massachusetts Open Educational Resources (OER) Advisory Council's first annual OER Olympic Awards.   Reynolds created BCC's Bioscience Image Library, which offers students and the general public free access to microscopic images of plants, animals, bacteria, fungi and more. The images are particularly useful for students studying biology, botany, zoology, histology and microbiology.     Winners of the OER Olympic Awards were selected by a subcommittee of the OER Advisory Council, which evaluated more than 25

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District Attorney's Office Annual STRIVE Conference
12:05PM / Monday, March 28, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office’s annual STRIVE Leadership Conference on March 31 will focus on youth mental health and wellbeing, inclusivity, and anti-bullying.   The District Attorney’s Office Youth Advisory Board organizes and hosts the annual event for eighth-grade students from schools throughout the county as they prepare to enter high school. This year’s theme is "Courageous Conversations."   "Despite its ubiquitous impact on our lives and community, the concept of mental health is still foreign to many students in the Berkshires. The Youth Advisory Board is taking the first steps towards helping

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Pittsfield School Officials Want Taconic Solely Vocational
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:46PM / Saturday, March 26, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A jump in students choosing technical education has school officials recommending Taconic High School becomes an all-vocational school.   "When we built the school, this is the problem we hoped to have and now it's here and we're actually past the tipping point," Principal Matthew Bishop said. "I think we thought we had more time but we're there and we have to sort of gladly look at this problem and decide what we want to do."   Assistant Superintendent Tammy Gage gave a presentation to the School Committee on Wednesday on the impact of increased career technical education, or CTE, applications for Taconic and the

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BCC Announces New Faculty, Staff
08:16AM / Friday, March 25, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced the addition of seven new full-time staff members, as well as an employment status change for one staff member.     joins BCC as Testing Center Clerk. Castagna has worked in a variety of BCC offices as both a student worker and as a temporary part-time employee over the past five years. Previously, he worked at Hillcrest Educational Centers in Youth Development. He earned a Music Certificate in Music Production at BCC and plans to continue his education to earn an associate degree in music. In his spare time, Castagna enjoys building his own computers with rescue pit bull terrier Nylah at his

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Pittsfield School Committee Accepts Thunder as New Taconic Mascot
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:44PM / Thursday, March 24, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee on Wednesday accepted Thunder as the new mascot for Taconic High School and a logo is in the works.  

The nickname was announced earlier this month after a series of community surveys that began in October 2021.  Taconic was rebranded from its former pseudonym, The Braves, which was dropped in 2020.

Earlier this year, Titans and Rockets were the other potential identities for the school. Principal Matthew Bishop explained to the committee how the winner was named.

The school was contacted by Taconic Hills High School in New York, whose sports teams are identified as the Titans, with concerns of confusion between the similarly

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Pittsfield School Committee Sees $72M Budget for FY23
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:20AM / Thursday, March 24, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee on Wednesday got a first look at the proposed $72 million school budget for fiscal 2023.  

The budget of $72,398,262 is a 7.56 percent, or $5,086,562, increase from this year. Most of the increase is in contractual obligations.

There will be a School Committee budget workshop on Monday and, later that day, a joint meeting with the City Council followed by a public hearing for the budget on Wednesday.

"You'll notice a large amount of the increase is contractual obligations according to current agreements with the [Pittsfield Educational Administrators' Association], the [United Educators of Pittsfield] and proposed with

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BArT Announces Upcoming Enrollment Deadline
04:08PM / Tuesday, March 22, 2022
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ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts and Technology (BArT) Charter Public School is currently accepting applications for students in grades 6 through 10 for the 2022-2023 school year. 

The next enrollment deadline for the 2022-2023 school year for grades 6 through 10 is Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. To apply, click here.    Interested families should note that the best way to secure a seat, or a desirable waitlist spot, for Fall 2022 is to apply before the April 21 deadline.   More information on the school's enrollment and lottery process can be found at www.bartcharter.org. Interested families should contact the school at 413-743-7311 ext 732 or

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